Your House is a Stage...
Let's talk about home staging. According to Wikipedia, Home staging is the act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. The question for most is, does it really work? Is it worth the money? Being a professional stager, my answer will of course be YES! However, let's look at some statistics supporting home staging and options available to home sellers.
LETS TALK STATS
According to The International Association of Home Staging Professionals and StagedHomes.com, 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less and sell for 17% more than non-staged homes. The nation wide average for days on the market for unstated homes is 90 days in comparison to the 11 days for staged homes. So, the question arises, why wouldn't you stage? Most of the time it comes to cost. Is it cost effective for a seller/realtor to have a home staged prior to going on the market? Again, being a professional stager my answer is yes! My market is below average on the cost of home staging, but in other areas it can seem a little pricey. But whether you are in a higher than average market or lower, it still pays for itself at closing.
A staged home sells for the asking price 51% of the time, versus the 12% of staged homes which sell for lower than the market price. So, what about the other 37%...those homes sell for higher than asking price (stats from Stagedhomes.com). So let's think about that...this means you have an 88% chance of selling your home for your asking price or higher!!! Again, why wouldn't you want to stage your home? You might need to invest $400-$2,000 depending on the market you live in and the type of staging you require, but either way, staging will put more money in your pocket!
My first suggestion is hire a professional. It will be easier on you and better for your home. However, this is not always an option. If you opt to do some staging on your own, here are three tips for maximizing your home for the market.
1). DECLUTTER - this is the #1 suggestion you will get from both your realtor and a stager. Though we love our own touches and photos, when selling a home, put away a majority of your personal items like the family photos and your little trinkets.
2). HANG YOUR PICTURES CORRECTLY - artwork/decorative pictures/mirrors on the wall can make a wonderful impact, but hanging them too high or on too large/small of a wall will defeat the purpose. Rule of thumb for artwork and mirrors is to hang them around 60-62" from the floor, or around eye level. You should be able to look straight ahead at a piece and not have to look up or down. Another issue is hanging too small of pictures on large walls or vice versa. When it comes to staging, if you are unsure the picture/mirror/artwork is right for the space, just remove it. Here are some examples for you.
This is a home I staged for Sims Norris Team - Realty Executives (photo courtesy of Sims Norris Team - Realty Executives). The first photo is from the initial consult with the home owner and the realtor prior to staging. The home owner had nice furniture and accessories, but the artwork was a little too high and sizing wasn't the correct fit. The staged picture on the right shows the art work removed, which for staging, less is more and a good rule of thumb. It gives a clean and inviting appearance.
In this example, we decided to change several things. The first picture shown is prior to staging. The artwork, size-wise, worked, but with the tv on the buffet and nothing on the other side, it felt a little lop-sided. The second picture (courtesy of B. Dalton Pics), shows the large clock the home owner already had and looks perfect in the large space and creates a focal point for the room.
3). My last tip/suggestion is to evaluate your furniture in the room. Most of the time when I go to consult for a staging, the furniture either is too big for the room, isn't arranged to maximize the space, or the room has too few furniture pieces. So, my suggestion is first, to make sure you have a clear walk way into the room. Create a nice flow when entering the room and walking through it. If you have to navigate around furniture, you probably have too much in the room and it isn't arranged properly. Here's a few examples to show some changes made with furniture.
This room had fantastic details already, but it was dark due to the large deep blue carpet and needed some smaller furniture in the room versus the larger ones. The couch was already in a good position, but the area rug and and the side table by the windows, were causing the room to feel smaller than it really was. With swapping out the carpets, placing a small narrow coffee table (bench) and a smaller more delicate side table, the room really lighted up and felt 10 times bigger! Changing the television on the mantel for decorative pieces made a visual difference as well.
The home owner already had great style, but this room was difficult to decorate being long and narrow. I'm not typically one to put a couch parallel to a door way, but since the room was so long, there was space to walk in the room prior to reaching the seating area. It ended up creating two separate spaces and worked out perfect! The second picture (courtesy of B. Dalton Pics) shows the space after we removed the large couch and placed the loveseat horizontal to the entry way. The last picture is the same room, but from the perspective of walking into the room from the doorway. I ended up giving the room a focal point by rearranging the furniture, removing the larger couch and making it into two separate spaces in the room.
Even though I gave three tips to staging, I do still recommend consulting with a home staging professional. They can give you ideas and pointers beyond this article. Many will give you a consultation for a flat fee, instead of staging. For the services I offer to both home owners and realtors, see the link here:
As always please feel free to email me with questions or pictures, Kathleenmoehrdesigns@gmail.com
Peace & Love,
P.S. Sneak peak for Thursdays DIY - Decorative Topiary :)